A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Basement


You’re not going to find photos of a beautiful home on my IG feed.  My home is a disaster in one room or another at any given moment. As it was when I ask the kids to go clean up their room.  But sometimes “cleaning up” isn’t the solution when there’s too much shit to KEEP organized. Sometimes the solution is to get rid of crap.  

My Mechanic has said a hundred million times that he’s “going down to the basement to clean up”. Now to me that means PURGING things.  Saying goodbye, get out of my house. I’ve already done that exact thing in the basement with my things. I had a rage cleaning incident and filled the back of my Yukon and part of the back seat.  

But to him that means ORGANIZING things. He’ll strap on his Bluetooth earbuds, play most likely Metallica and Linkin Park and do whatever the hell it is he does down there (makes a bigger mess sorting things into piles) for two hours. Then declares he’s tired and takes a nap until dinner time.

Y’all, he hadn’t purged a damn thing.   And it was getting harder to move around.

And I’m not talking about minimalism here.  I’m talking about not having so much shit that you have to move things to get to the freezer and then move them back to get to the safe.  About knowing exactly what we have so we don’t buy duplicates and waste money. About removing not only the physical clutter, but also the visual clutter to retain our sanity.

At the suggestion of Julie from Small Scale Life I went down there just to organize it, not purge, because it’s not my place to get rid of someone else’s things.  I certainly would not like it if he did that to me. I was down there for about 10 minutes when My Mechanic decided to join me. He told me not to worry about it and step aside.  So I found a stool and sat with him.

He joked that “What? You’re staying down here to supervise?”

Nope.  Just as moral support. (Well, maybe.)

As if he needed it. (But he might have needed it and didn’t want to ask?)

I stayed and grabbed things for him, moved stuff that I knew had a spot and put it there, gave a box of old cords to Monkey so he could treasure hunt through them   In the process he unearthed things that were mine and I snatched them up so he didn’t have to use brain power on my stuff and thus get distracted.

Before: Basement Workbench

It didn’t take long with the two of us to clear off the workbench in the basement and the surrounding floor space.


It really doesn’t look like much in the picture but I’m feeling so much better about the space just from the little amount we did. And every little bit counts; it’s all an in-progress journey.

An interesting thing happened next.  I didn’t know his plans for this area because it’s really his area and not mine. But he grabbed my empty seed trays from the kitchen and lined them all up. Then expanded his arms like “ta-da” and I realized that this area he wanted to concentrate on so that I could have a space to work.

Y’all he was cleaning this for me! #tears

I had no idea he was listening earlier in the week while I lamented about finding a place where the a-hole cats couldn’t dig into the dirt or eat my eventual seedlings.  Or where the Great Dane couldn’t just knock the whole contraption over.


Today is my first day to get seeds in, according to my very sophisticated calendaring system, and My Mechanic is going to make sure the lights are hung low and close to the seed tray, and then I’m ready to go.  Pepper plants go in today because I have a plan to make my own spice blends.

The peppers are in.
Five Peppers for Pickling and Pulverizing.

As for the kids’ rooms and upstairs vestibule?  Well maybe they need their mama to sit as moral support like My Mechanic needed.  They know what to do, but perhaps the how is the difficult part.

Watch my IG account for the near future for photo results. #declutterspeedball.

What do you have to say for yourself?